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The Godfather's Spaghetti Sauce

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“It is claimed that in 1973, Glamour Magazine posted this recipe based on a scene in the movie "The Godfather": "Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh…? And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick." --- Clemenza in 'The Godfather'”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans tomatoes (whole, crushed or chopped)
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 3 Italian sausages, grilled and sliced
  • 1 lb meatballs, cooked (use your favorite recipe)
  • red wine, just a splash
  • 14 cup sugar (or to taste)


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Do not let the garlic burn.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously so that a relatively smooth consistence is reached.
  4. Add sausages and meatballs and stir until the meat is coated.
  5. Add a splash of red wine, then the sugar according to taste.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  7. Serve by ladling over cooked pasta.
  8. Tip: It's not in the movie, but a teaspoon each of basil and oregano is suggested.
  9. Tip 2: If you're using canned whole tomatoes, draining them and then crushing them by hand will result in a chunky sauce. Canned crushed tomatoes will create a slightly thinner sauce, while canned chopped tomatoes will result in a thicker sauce.

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